The consultation is the first step in the formal process of obtaining state environmental clearance for electrification, which was proposed last year by California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) as one of its early investment projects. However, the environmental impact report for the project does not cover plans to incorporate the line into the high-speed network, which will be subject to a separate environmental review.

The electrification project is due to be completed by 2019, although the line is unlikely to carry high-speed services until 2026 at the earliest.